The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed a bill to provide status of IIT to eight new institutes and upgrade BHU's institute of technology into IIT with government asserting that steps were being taken to address shortage of faculty and quality of higher education.
HRD minister Kapil Sibal, while piloting the bill, also said the Banaras Hindu University would not be bifurcated in the process of the giving IIT status to its Institute of Technology.
The Bill seeks to add eight new institutes at Bhubaneshwar, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Indore, Jodhour, Mandi, Patna and Ropar as IITs and integrate the Institute of Technology, BHU within the ambit of the Act. All the entities will also be declared as institutions of national importance.
The Bill was approved by voice vote amidst protest by BSP members who feared that the new legislation would distort the existing structure of the BHU, which was established by freedom fighter Madan Mohan Malviya.
Leaders from SP also demanded that the present status of the BHU should be maintained.
"We will not let down Madan Mohan Malviya...We have no interest in bifurcating the BHU," Sibal said, adding that the vice-chancellor of the BHU would continue to be vice-chairman of the board of governors of the IIT.
The amendments to the Act, he said, were needed to enable the new IITs to award degrees to students.
Referring to the issue of shortage of faculty, the minister said, the government proposed to introduce post-graduate courses in the IITs and connect all institutes with the National Knowledge Network to enable students to pursue courses with the help of teachers in other institutes.
He said there was a shortage of 1,216 teachers in old IITs and 1,516 teachers in new IITs as against the authorised strength of 4,105 and 4,765 respectively.
Pointing out that government does not have resources to set up large number of institutes of higher learning in the country, Sibal said there was a need to allow foreign universities and encourage Public Private Partnership (PPP) module.
The issues, he said, were being considered by the Standing Committee of Parliament.
Sibal said the country needed 1,000 more universities and 45,000 more colleges in the next decade to meet the requirement of higher education.
Among those who participated in the discussion were Nishikant Dubey (BJP), Bhakta Charan Das (Cong), Dhananjay Singh (BSP) Janardhana Swamy (BJP), Ijyaraj Singh (Cong) and K S Siva Rao (Cong).